Kyle Johnston

Kyle Johnston

About Me

I’m a passionate and unflappable creative leader and designer with twenty years of broad-ranging design experience including extensive experience in practicing and leading design, creative strategy, and operational leadership and development. I’ve utilized my background in communication design, user-centered design, and team leadership to successfully build, manage, and mentor diverse teams in both in-house and agency environments.

Most recently, I served as the Director of Creative at Vista Outdoor, a leader in the outdoor sports and recreation markets. I led talented creative teams across multiple US offices, and collaborated with internal business partners and external agencies to produce a range of engaging cross-channel marketing and advertising for 50 brands.

Prior to Vista Outdoor, I was the Creative Director at DEG, a rapidly growing digital marketing and advertising agency based in Kansas City, and Garmin International. In my time at Garmin, I had a front row seat to its explosive growth – from a niche brand known for its early innovations in Marine, Aviation and Outdoor GPS electronics, to its current standing as a global brand. Similarly, the teams I led there grew – from a small, scrappy band of web designers to a team of over 50, comprised of art directors, copywriters, UX specialists, motion designers, photographers and videographers.

Download my complete resume and learn more about my career.

Key Skills

8—15 years of experience

  • Creating responsive websites with HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Web and UX team management, including design, research, frontend, and content roles
  • Educating clients on the benefits of user-centered design and UX principles
  • Leading client concept pitch meetings, brainstorm sessions, and creative workshops

15+ years of experience

  • Creative team recruiting, hiring, management, and leadership in both in-house and agency environments
  • Team mentoring, coaching, and career path development
  • Branding and visual identity development
  • Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign

Speaking & Writing


Freelance vs. Agency vs. Corporate
Panel Moderator
AAF-KC Spark KC Career Conference
November 2015

Herding Cats
Federal Reserve Bank
Web Developers, Editors & Designers Conference
September 2015

Professional Organizations & Awards

Professional Organizations

AAF-KC Board of Directors
Vice President, Membership, 2015—2016
Corporate Membership Chair, 2014—2015

Web Communications Chair, 2011—2013

Johnson County Community College
Dean’s Advisory Board, 2010—Present
Interactive Media Advisory Board, 2006—Present


Gold American Advertising Award (Regional), 2015, Garmin YouTube video series

Gold American Advertising Award (Regional), 2009, Garmin Outdoor interactive microsite

National American Advertising Award Nomination, 2009, Garmin Outdoor interactive microsite